Political Science IUB

EASC Colloquium: Five Things You’d Want to Know in Explaining Japan’s Surrender in 1945

To most Americans, it is obvious that the two atomic bombs ended World War II. Yet at least four other developments helped persuade Japanese leaders to surrender. In addition to the Soviet Union’s entry into the war, the Allied blockade starved the Japanese home front of food and fuel; the expanding U.S. firebombing campaign devastated 64 cities; and Japanese elites closely followed the recent defeat of Nazi Germany, which had fought to the finish, and few wished to continue the war to the point of national annihilation. Understanding the Japanese side of the story advances us well beyond the existing American-centered analyses.

SHELDON GARON is Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University.  A specialist in modern Japanese history, he also writes transnational history that spotlights the flow of ideas and institutions between East Asia, Europe, and the United States—notably in his book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves (2012).  He is currently writing a transnational history of “home fronts” in Japan, Germany, and Britain in World War II, focusing on aerial bombardment, food insecurity, and civilian “morale.”  Previous publications include Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (1997) and The State and Labor in Modern Japan (1987), and he co-edited The Ambivalent Consumer: Questioning Consumption in East Asia and the West (2006).


Friday February 15, 2019 12:00 PM
Friday February 15, 2019 01:15 PM
Global and International Studies Building 2067
Ezgi Benli
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